Grassley, the most-senior Senate Republican, told The Washington Post he’s “very, very concerned” about reports that director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Lee Francis Cissna will be the next to go in pending ousters that began with Sunday’s takedown of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Niesen.
The White House suddenly dropped its nomination of Ronald Vitiello to be director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, head of the office of policy and strategy at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is also believed to be on the chopping block.
Grassley said he believes those immigration officials could help advance Trump’s vision for his signature issue.
“The president has to have some stability and particularly with the No. 1 issue that he’s made for his campaign [and] throughout his two and a half years of presidency,” Grassley told the Post. “He’s pulling the rug out from the very people that are trying to help him accomplish his goal.”
Nielsen’s ouster “strikes me as just a frustration of not being able to solve a problem,” Cornyn added. “Honestly, it wasn’t Secretary Nielsen’s fault. It wasn’t for lack of effort on her part. I don’t know if there’s anybody who’s going to be able to do more.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told Politico: “I thought that Nielsen was doing a fantastic job. I would love to see some continuity. I think that’s important.”
Grassley said he was going to appeal to Trump to hold off on further changes on Fox News, which the president often watches.
Grassley criticized senior White House aide Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner who’s believed to be whispering in Trump’s ear about personnel changes. “I think it would be hard for him to demonstrate he’s accomplished anything for the president,” Grassley said.